Good morning and welcome to the stock market today! A big initial public offering is underway, the latest Federal Reserve comments are still top of mind, and investors are working to process the latest economic update. We learned today that the economy grew 6.5% last quarter, missing estimates for 8.4% growth. Beyond all this, what will the stock market do today?
- The S&P 500 is up 0.43%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.46%
- The Nasdaq Composite is up 0.24%
So what else will the stock market do today? Here are some of the top stories.
What Will the Stock Market Do Today? Watch Robinhood.
Today is finally the day… Robinhood (NASDAQ:HOOD), an icon of retail investors, is set to debut.
But how are retail investors really feeling about the Robinhood initial public offering? The online brokerage priced shares at $38, at the lower end of its range. This will still make its founders billionaires, but has some market pundits reflecting on company controversies and weak demand.
According to the team at Robinhood, this market debut is another step in democratizing investing. The brokerage is synonymous with retail investors — it is often the trading platform of choice for the folks on r/WallStreetBets and Discord. This is because its app promotes accessibility, and because Robinhood led the way with commission-free trading. It currently focuses on U.S. households that have less than $100,000 in wealth, encouraging users to put total sums of even $500 into the market. Importantly, Robinhood is also one of the largest exchanges for meme crypto Dogecoin (CCC:DOGE-USD).
While popular among retail investors, not everyone is so sure what side Robinhood takes. Earlier this year, the GameStop (NYSE:GME) short-squeeze saga saw the brokerage temporarily block trading in GME, AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) and dozens of other popular names. A similar crypto craze created trading halts in DOGE. Plus, leading into the Robinhood IPO, the company has faced a good deal of regulatory risks. Just yesterday, it shared it was under a new probe because CEO Vlad Tenev does not have a FINRA license.
Still though, Robinhood is making history in how it handles the IPO. It has set aside about 35% of the offering for its own customers, a big difference from the standard Wall Street process.
So what is the bottom line? Everyone on Wall Street is watching the Robinhood IPO and will be keeping a close eye on HOOD stock. It just seems the jury is still out on whether or not Redditors should want the newly public company to succeed.
Pfizer Is Shooting for the Spotlight
Yesterday investors were focused on new mask guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and vaccine mandates for federal employees. Today, the Delta variant has complicated the reopening story in a new way: Companies are slowing or outright stopping their return-to-office plans.
As the U.S. has continued to reopen, major companies have been paving the way for employees to return to the office. Some bosses simply want workers back in the office, and this summer marked the start of a migration back to the cubicles. Now though, renewed Covid-19 fears are forcing execs to change their timelines.
Yesterday, Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) announced that Google would delay its return to the office. Workers will have until mid-October to return, and in the meantime, Google will be cooking up new policies. Eventually, all employees must get vaccinated. In a similar vein, Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) announced it would close its offices in New York City and San Francisco in response to the new guidance.
So who wins from this? Perhaps Pfizer (NYSE:PFE).
As we wrote yesterday, the vaccine maker has been looking to really leverage its status in the Covid-19 world. After receiving emergency-use authorization for its two-dose shot, it is now sharing promising data around a third, booster dose. Health officials were previously cool on the idea, but with Delta talk heating up, Pfizer could get its way.
At the same time, the company is raising its prices. The U.S. just purchased 200 million vaccines at roughly $24 per shot… up from the previous $19.50 level. Pfizer says these prices reflect new packaging requirements, among other things, but they have investors on watch. Keep this story, and the conversation around booster doses, top of mind.
What Else We’re Watching
- Yesterday the $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal cleared a procedural vote in the Senate, paving the way for debate. News of the bipartisan agreement stoked interest in infrastructure stocks, including in electric vehicle charging plays like ChargePoint (NYSE:CHPT) and EVgo (NASDAQ:EVGO).
- On that same note, the infrastructure deal is also sparking chatter in the cryptocurrency realm. Within proposals to actually fund the widespread spending is a plan to raise roughly $30 billion through taxes on digital assets, including cryptocurrencies.
- We may be in Hot Vax Summer, but analysts are already looking to back-to-school season. That is because we may be on the brink of one of the largest spending bumps in history as families make the pivot from remote learning to in-person education. So what should you watch? An ongoing chip shortage will complicate back-to-school prep, making laptops and other personal electronics hard to come by.
On the date of publication, Sarah Smith did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Sarah Smith is the Editor of Today’s Market with InvestorPlace.com.